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Car repairs can be extremely costly, even if they are relatively minor.
When it comes to the vehicle’s upholstery, a “quick fix” is rarely quick. Instead of spending a fortune having someone redo your car’s interior, you may be able to tackle it on your own for a fraction of the cost. Depending on which part of the upholstery has been damaged, you can repair it yourself without needing to take it to a professional.
If you want to restore an old classic, the same is true.
With restoration parts and costs of labor on the rise, being able to replace old worn-out interiors yourself will not only bring your car back to life and make it more comfortable -- but if you learn to do it correctly, it can save you a whole lot of money. DIY repairs can also make it possible you for to have the classic car of your dreams within your price range.
These are the most common types of upholstery damages and the ways to repair them.
The seats of any upholstered car can be damaged from normal wear and tear, stains, spills, or cigarette burns. Just because one part of the seat is damaged, however, does not mean that you need to redo the upholstery from head to toe. Instead of draping it with a cheap cover from an auto store that does nothing but put a Band-Aid on the problem, you can cut out just the section that is ruined and sew in a new patch along the seam lines to make it look new. Matching car upholstery colors might not be as difficult as you think.
Even if the damage is in a highly visible area, if you get the seam in close enough and pay attention to sewing it within the line, then you are the only one who will know that it was ever repaired. If you repair a car seat yourself, an upholstery fix can go from about $200 by a professional upholsterer to about $15 as a DIY project.
The floor console
Professionally repairing the average floor console can cost upwards of $300-500 when taken to a shop. If you do it yourself, you can usually get it done with the same results for about $50. If parts of the floor console are old, moldy, or have been stained by drinks or food falling in between the crevices, the console is an easy spot to fix.
You can search the internet for car parts; whether you are redoing a fairly new car’s upholstery or trying to restore an old classic, sites like eBay are a great resource. They have all the parts you need to fix up your interior. From full-floor carpeting to new console covers, if you have the time and patience, you can make your old car look brand new. If you can’t find a “new-looking” console to cover the old, buy the best one, sand it, and then spray paint it with some black trim paint. If you take the time to find the right part, or to fix up the not-so-right one, your car console will look like it just came from the showroom.
Repairing a door panel yourself is a simple fix that will save you nearly $100. You don’t need to worry about buying fabrics that are made for cars only to do a door panel repair. Any fabric will work, because the door won’t get the same wear and tear that other parts of the car will. If you can manage to find the same color at your local fabric outlet, all you have to do is cut it to measure and use 3M spray glue to finish the panel. Make sure to use something like a credit card to smooth it out and ensure that there are no bumps or lumps.
You can replace the carpet completely by matching it with new carpeting. That requires you to take out the seats and cover the car from front to back. If that is too overwhelming, the good news is that sometimes all you need is a little elbow grease to remove the stains and matting, instead of fully replacing the carpet. To clean the car’s floor upholstery all you need is a nylon brush to help loosen whatever is stuck, some carpet cleaner, water, and a shop vac to make sure that you have extracted all the excess water. The extraction is critical to prevent any mold growth.
Car repair and restoration can be an expense that can break your budget, especially if you have to bring in a professional. When it comes to the interior of the car, learning to do quick upholstery fixes will not only help to maintain the equity you have in your car, but it will also make the ride a whole lot more enjoyable.